ROURKELA: The bordering Biramitrapur town in Sundargarh district witnessed a communal flare up on Monday after members of a particular community took to the streets protesting smuggling of cows. The protesters brought life in the town to a standstill and demanded strong action against the accused.
With the situation remaining grim, three platoons of police forces have been deployed in the area with Sundargarh SP Dayanidhi Gochchhait, Panposh Sub-Collector HS Behera and Biramitrapur Tehsildar G Gopal Krishna trying to pacify the agitators.
Sources said at around 8 am, two pick-up vans laden with eight cows and three buffaloes were intercepted on Raiboga road by members of the community. Alleging that the cattle was being taken to a slaughterhouse, the agitators beat up the drivers of the vehicles and handed them over to Biramitrapur police. They demanded action against those behind the smuggling.
On the other hand, supporters of the drivers, belonging to another community, laid siege to the police station. Both communities stopped short of a direct confrontation after police swung into action and brought the situation under control.
Later in the day, those protesting the smuggling of cattle formed several groups and effected a complete shutdown of the entire Biramitrapur town, located on the border of Jharkhand and infested with Jharkhand’s banned outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI).
SP Gochchhait claimed that the situation was under control and precautionary measures have been taken to arrest the situation from flaring up. He said efforts are on to restore normalcy.
Sources said Monday’s tension is believed to have stemmed from the simmering anger after a youth of a community eloped with a girl of another community which is protesting the cattle smuggling.
Till the filing of the report, the situation in the town remained grim as hundreds of people gathered on the streets.